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May Surge Could Make A Difference Between Harper Majority And Liberal Minority

Published October 11, 2008 in Blog - 0 Comments

In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. presidential candidate Al Gore. Senior Canadian members of the panel, Doctors Andrew Weaver (University of Victoria), William Peltier (University of Toronto), and John Stone (Carleton University), called on Elizabeth Evans May, the first member of the Green Party elected to parliament, to “make the difference in more than 50 close ridings where the Conservatives are set to win.”

They cited VoteForEnvironment.ca, as well as seat models from various polling companies, to show examples of the Green Party projected vote, particularly in the 519 and 219 regions, which were considerably greater than the Conservative margin of victory.

Andrew Weaver referred to it as facing “a critical moment…it looks like the unprecedented desire to vote for the environment could result in a terrible three way split of environmental voters…”

He believed a liberal majority could make “great progress” in fighting climate change, a prime goal of Green Party voters. He noted concerns climate scientists had with the Conservative Party, particularly Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He said Elizabeth May’s appeal presented an “extraordinary opportunity” to make the difference. These three scientists, along with 121 other prominent climate scientists, urged “strategic voting” to defeat the Conservative government.

VoteForEnvironment.ca analyzes polls to project results in each riding, allowing for estimates of seats each party will have in Parliament. The purpose is to assist citizens to decode the effect of their votes as to whether or not they can stop a Conservative victory in their riding.

William Peltier gave Oakville as an example, noting “the Conservative in Oakville is set to win by about 1200 votes. In that riding, May and the Green Party will probably draw well over 7000 votes. If even a portion of these Greens act, it will make the difference.”

He added “there are dozens of ridings like Oakville. It looks today like Conservatives will squeak out a win over NDP and Liberal candidates in key ridings where the Greens under May are so strong that, if they used their votes to make change, it would happen.”

Peltier believed in districts such as this, the Green Party had no realistic chance to win, but could ensure Conservative Party victory by splitting anti-Conservative votes.

John Stone added “if May were to act to lead the growing Green force she has inspired, she could change the result of this election…changing the government by acting in a narrow band of ridings is more important to environmental voters than the $1.83 parties get per vote. May should make it clear that she believes the government needs to change and the election is in the hands of Green voters in key ridings.”

They urged Green Party voters to visit VoteForEnvironment.ca and download a spreadsheet of ridings where the Green vote can make the difference.

The three scientists did not address the long term effect on the Green Party of losing votes to other parties opposing the Conservative Party agenda.

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